One week into those New Year’s resolutions, and you may feel like reaching for a cookie – or ice cream, or a quick slice of pizza for lunch. Don’t give up just yet. A salad is an obsession a person can feel good about. Meet our favorite plates of cool, fresh, crispy dressed leaves – the best salads in New York City.
The moribund Grange Hall space has become an instant classic of a different kind. In addition to the best breadbasket in town, this contemporary American restaurant serves a tantalizing salad with, count ‘em, twenty herbs and lettuces and shavings of manchego cheese. It vanishes too fast every time.
300 E 12th St. at Second Ave.
For fans, the house salad at East Village vegetarian restaurant Angelica is the steak of salads—and not because it’s larded up with bacon or cheeses. The greatness is in its heartiness and simplicity (various green leaves, shredded beets and carrots, grated cabbage) and the quality of the organic ingredients. Available with a variety of dressings.
The staple French salad of frisee with lardons, a poached egg and a biting splash of vinegar is done to perfection at Keith McNally’s Meatpacking District bistro. Never mind the tourists and have one accompanied by one of Pastis’s equally excellent Bloody Mary.
The Standard Grill
The sprawling restaurant in the lobby of the white-hot Standard Hotel is that rare beast, a see-and-be-seen party scene whose kitchen is actually worth the hype. Please, don’t go here just for the salad, but the tall haystack of sliced snow peas and radish slivers in a cider vinaigrette is sheer heaven.
Yes, a restaurant in a former butcher shop has one of the best salads in town. Brooklyn’s Prime Meats (a fantastic destination for just about everything) serves a Central European-style lettuce-less salad of celery and parsley leaves tossed with radish and celery stalk and dressed with sunflower oil. It’s cool, crunchy, unusual and profoundly flavorful.
The Pink Pony
The salad Nicoise is a dieting-girl staple, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be superior, especially when every ingredient is done right, as it is at the Pink Pony. Soft chunks of potato, plenty of olives, light dressing and a just-seared slab of fresh tuna that’s ash gray on the outside and jewel-like within. This is casual neighborhood cafe food at its best.